Chunky Move Studios, Melbourne
Chunky Move’s Keep Everything lives up to its name – a mish-mash of many different bits and pieces choreographer Antony Hamilton has been working on, brought together in a fantastic contemporary piece for three outstanding performers.
The piece opens with a smoky, post-apocalyptic scene, with bits of foam littered across the stage like some sort of space debris. From the depths of a pile of stuff, (the extraordinarily flexible) Benjamin Hancock chats to the audience, while Lauren Langlois and Alisadair Macindoe crouch at the back of the stage, exhibiting quick, small movements, reminiscent of a robot short-circuiting. Hancock’s monologue segues into a two person dialogue, imitating the high pitched voice of a girl, as he rolls towards the other performers. The trio almost dance off each other, pushing and pulling, using each other’s bodies as bridges and step-ladders and chairs for the duration of the piece.
The performers are all outstanding, each bringing different elements to the performance. Macindoe particularly stands out - his ability to speak coherently and at length while rolling, contorting, and lifting the other performers is impressive.
Hamilton achieves something that is quite difficult in dance performances - because of the combination of movement and dialogue, the performance is hilariously funny. The closing-night audience was all laughing hysterically at some of the more outlandish elements of the piece, particularly the performers’ impression of a dog, using the foam on stage.
There are long sections where there isn’t any dancing, which is understandable considering all three performers are constantly moving together. But the pauses are still stimulating, with different lighting and smoke effects used, mixed with interesting swatches of music - from monster noises, to white noise, to techno beats.
Keep Everything was commissioned and presented by Chunky Move as part of The Next Move, a program committed to nurturing the next generation of Australia’s young dance makers. After watching this performance, I think the future of contemporary dance is in safe hands.
- ASTRID LAWTON